Wuhan has committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 56% per unit of GDP, by 2020 (from 2005 levels). In 2015, it became one of 15 pilot cities for the ‘city of public transportation’ project in China, prompting experimentation with public transit and ‘slow transportation’ systems. As part of this, wuhan looked to expand their slow and green transportation options and developed their bike share system, which is potentially the largest in the world.
The project resulted in the building of 858 docking stations, 806 of which are now fully operational. Results show that this has already reduced carbon emissions by 25,000 tCO2 per annum. Calculations show a resulting reduction in oil usage of 80.64 litres, with an associated cost saving of $68,846,300.
As of May 2016 the 806 operational docking stations have facilitated 20,000 bikes for citizens to access.
A common complaint about public transport is that they are not truly door-to-door as users must travel o the fixed points of the subway, bus and light rail stations. The bike share scheme offers an alternative or complimentary mode of transport and is becoming increasing popular in Wuhan. Increased cycle rates also increase fitness activity for the city’s citizens and improve public health.
Phase two of the project is due for completion in 2018 and will see the addition of 60,000 bicycles to the fleet. On completion of the planned 3,000 stations, with the full 80,000 bikes, the annual carbon emission reduction will amount to 170,000 tons. This is equivalent to 70,000 tons of standard coal, 192,000litres of oil and over 200 million kWh.
Through publicity campaigns, and improved facilities, Wuhan hopes that public bicycles will progressively replace bus, subway and private car use, securing long-term carbon emission reductions. The project will also reduce the amount that citizens spend on travel, improve air quality, ease traffic congestion and improve the health of participating citizens.